International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 159–166 | Cite as

Impact of deprescribing rounds on discharge prescriptions: an interventional trial

  • Rachel EdeyEmail author
  • Nicholas Edwards
  • Jonah Von Sychowski
  • Ajay Bains
  • Jim Spence
  • Dan Martinusen
Research Article


Background Successful deprescribing practices are required to address issues associated with polypharmacy but are hindered by minimal interprofessional collaboration, time constraints, concern for negative outcomes, and absence of a systematic and evidence-based approach. Objective Determine the impact of pharmacist-led deprescribing rounds within a clinical teaching unit (CTU) the number of home medications discontinued upon hospital discharge. Setting Canadian tertiary care hospital. Methods Prospective, dual-arm, interventional study conducted in a single centre, from November 23rd, 2015 to August 30th, 2016. All patients ≥ 19 years old admitted under the CTU were considered for enrolment if on medication(s) prior to admission and patients were excluded if not taking any medications. Study arm allocation alternated daily between the two teams. The control arm operated as per standard whereas the intervention arm’s pharmacist used a deprescribing guide and medication review to identify medications eligible for discontinuation prior to discussing during daily rounds. Discharge documents communicated medication changes to patient and primary healthcare providers. The study was sufficiently powered. Main outcome measure The difference of number of home medications discontinued at discharge between the intervention and control groups. Results 171 and 187 patients were allocated to the intervention and control arms, respectively. No significant differences of baseline characteristics existed between groups. Main outcome measure results showed that deprescribing rounds resulted in significantly more medications deprescribed compared to control (65% vs. 38%; p = 0.001). The rates of readmission and emergency department visits were reduced in the intervention arm. Conclusions Incorporating deprescribing rounds into routine care led to significantly greater discontinuation of medications without increasing rate of emergency department visits or hospital admissions.

Trial registration ISRCTN11751440


Canada Clinical medication reviews Deprescribing Inappropriate medication use Interprofessional collaboration Patient care Pharmacist Polypharmacy 




Conflicts of interest

Authors Rachel Edey, Nicholas Edwards, Jonah Von Sychowski, Ajay Bains, Jim Spence, and Dan Martinusen do not have any conflicts of interest to disclose or financial interests to declare.

Supplementary material

11096_2018_753_MOESM1_ESM.docx (48 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 49 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacyNanaimo Regional General HospitalNanaimoCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of PharmacyRoyal Jubilee HospitalVictoriaCanada
  4. 4.Internal MedicineRoyal Jubilee HospitalVictoriaCanada
  5. 5.Island Medical ProgramThe University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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